PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
HBO renewed High Maintenance and Crashing for third seasons. The series’ sophomore runs are airing Fridays at 11p and Sundays at 10:30p, respectively.
Comedy Central ordered a sixth season of Drunk History, currently in season 5 on Tuesdays at 10p.
Entertainment One, Vicky Jones (Killing Eve) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) are teaming for romantic comedy thriller Run. Jones and Waller-Bridge will exec produce with Emily Leo of Wigwam Films.
Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. has launched Televisa Alternative Originals, a new original content division aimed at developing, producing and distributing premium programming with an emphasis on multicultural characters and storytelling. TAO has already inked a deal with Amazon Prime Video for a multi-series agreement; global SVOD rights are reserved for Amazon Prime Video and will be available to its customers across more than 200 countries and territories. Televisa will eventually have free-to-air and cable network windows in Mexico and in the U.S. through Univision.
Ben Katai (StartUp) is developing and producing a series based on dystopian novel Flashback, with Critical Content and Hollywood Gang. Ketai will write, as well as executive produce alongside Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari and Shannon Gaulding and Critical Content’s Tom Forman and Ray Ricord.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Fox News’ Life, Liberty & Levin launches Sunday, February 15 at 10p, with host Mark Levin exploring “the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics and current events.” Levi’s radio show is the third-largest syndicated show in the country.
Season 6 of AXS TV’s The Big Interview with Dan Rather launches Tuesday, March 13 at 9p with a convo with rock icon Robert Plant.
Six-episode entrepreneurial series Staten Island Hustle debuts Wednesday, April 11 on CNBC, following friends and businessmen “who have yet to come up with an idea or product too far-fetched for them to invest in.”
ID’s Evil Talks: Chilling Confessions takes viewers inside the interrogation room to watch tactics used by detectives (think “good cop, bad cop”) to secure admissions of guilt, starting Monday, March 12 at 9p.
Continuing with true crime, Oxygen’s In Ice Cold Blood debuts Sunday, April 1 at 7p. Hosted by Ice-T (Law & Order: SVU), the series delves into edgy mysteries via interviews, reenactments and archival footage.
Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time! is back with 4 new back-to-back episodes on Sunday, March 18 at 7p. Eager Finn and Jake fans can catch episodes early beginning March 9 on the Cartoon Network app and VOD.
Discovery’s Fast N’ Loud returns Monday, March 12 at 9p, promising bigger builds and higher horsepower at the Gas Monkey Garage.
Your Husband Is Cheating On Us premieres on Bravo Sunday, April 1 at 9p. Docu-series offers a behind-the-scenes look at the drama surrounding the creation of a stage production.
Azteca America has partnered with the Immigrant Archive Project for a video series, Quienes Somos (Who We Are), documenting the struggles faced by Hispanic immigrants. The campaign launches across the network’s stations Monday, February 26.
Bon Jovi will perform at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards, airing Sunday, March 11 on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8p. The “Livin’ On a Prayer” band join fellow honorees Chance the Rapper and Camila Cabello.
The Winter Games goodbye party on NBC will be hosted by Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir and Terry Gannon on Sunday, February 25 at 8p. “I’m honored and excited to be hosting the Closing Ceremony with my reserved, understated broadcast partners,” said Gannon.
Essence’s 11th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards will air on OWN Saturday, March 3 at 10p, honoring Danai Gurira (Black Panther), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Tessa Thompson (Westworld) and Lena Waithe (Master of None) as Game-Changers.
Tiffany Haddish is busy – the actress/comedian will also be hosting the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Monday, June 18 at 9p. And that’s in addition to starring in TBS’s upcoming The Last OG.
One-hour CW special Tough Mudder: Tougher Together, offering an in-depth look at the challenges of Tough Mudder’s endurance race participants, premieres on Thursday, March 15 at 8p. The show will be preceded by 5 digital episodes on CW Seed, premiering Thursday, March 8.
Cinelatino airs the U.S. premiere of black comedy Elle es Ramona (She’s Ramona) on Sunday, February 25 at 9:30p. Stand-up comedian Andrea Ortega stars.
ADVERTISING & BRANDS
Food Network partnered with General Mills for a reimagined Pillsbury Bake-Off. The campaign features Food Network host Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), tribute spots featuring the history and impact of the contest, custom video featuring contest finalists, accompanying short-form content, and the reveal of the bake-off winner this Saturday on The Kitchen, airing at 11a.
Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton) will star as Judas in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on Easter Sunday, April 1. Also joining the cast are Tony nominee Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate, Tony nominee Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Broadway veteran Jason Tam as Peter, M. Butterfly star Jin Ha as Annas and Swedish rock star Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes.
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) will play an eccentric heiress on season 2 of NBC comedy Trial & Error, premiering later this year. “I’m excited to slip into a role that feels very right for me at this time,” said the Tony and Emmy Award winner. “Plus, I’m surrounded by genius comedic actors and brilliant writing. I admire John Lithgow so much and want to make him proud by continuing what he began.”
Australian actor Burgess Abernathy (H2O: Just Add Water) and Laura Mitchell (Menendez: Blood Brothers) will play Prince William and his wife Kate in Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, arriving this spring.
Pilot lights: Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings) will star in an untitled CBS comedy pilot from writers Tim McAuliffe (The Last Man on Earth) and Austen Earl (9JKL) and The Late Late Show with James Corden executive producer Ben Winston, reports Deadline….Grace Van Dien (Greenhouse Academy) landed the lead in NBC pilot The Village, focused on the residents of a Manhattan apartment building…Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids) has been cast in ABC action-dramedy pilot Whiskey Cavalier….Josh Randall (Ten Days in the Valley) and Vanessa Vasquez (East Los Angeles) join the cast of ABC cop drama pilot Safe Harbor.…Brian J. Smith (Sense8) will star in CBS drama pilot L.A. Confidential, based on the James Ellroy novel…..Bellamy Young (Scandal) nabbed the lead in ABC comedic soap pilot False Profits.
Charter has launched a skinny bundle, Choice, that includes the Big 4 nets plus 10 cable channels, from a list of 65, for $26/month. Premium networks like HBO can be added for an additional charge.
The final notice of the Open Internet Rule, aka Net Neutrality, was published in the Federal Register; the rollback of FCC internet regulations takes effect April 23. Meanwhile, states are gearing up with lawsuits to block deregulation of internet access, so the battle’s not over yet….
The FCC has proposed procedures to encourage more timely implementation of new technology. “While the commission has a long history of facilitating the introduction of new technologies and services, the regulatory path from technological breakthrough to authorization of service has often been too long and arduous,” said the FCC.
VOD entertainment/lifestyle channel 420TV launched yesterday. Developed by execs from the TV, music and marijuana industries, the channel “dedicated to all things cannabis” offers series including In Amsterdam, animated comedy Trae tha Truth, and docu-series Medical Marijuana Miracles.
Sling TV is set to launch NBA League Pass on its service, offering out-of-market games in addition to those available on NBA TV, TNT, ABC, ESPN3, regional sports nets and local broadcast networks. NBA League Pass is available for $29/month.
The week after the mass shooting at a Florida high school, Amazon is under pressure to drop the NRA’s 24-hour streaming service from its devices. Yesterday, the hashtag #StopNRAmazon was trending on Twitter. NRA TV is also available on Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku.
People and Entertainment Weekly’s Red Carpet Live streaming pre-show will be hosted by People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle from the red carpet bleachers starting at 5p on Sunday, March 4. Viewers watching the livestream on Twitter can send in questions using the hashtag #RedCarpetLive.
Poker Central has teamed with Believe Entertainment Group to produce Super High Roller Club, a 6-episode series following the lifestyles of big spenders. Chips fall where they may starting Monday, February 26 on PokerGO, Poker Central’s direct-to-consumer OTT subscription service.
Talk show Below the Belt debuts Wednesday, February 28 on Showtime Sports digital platforms. Hosted by Brendan Shaub, the twice-monthly show explores the latest news in combat sports and pop culture.
DCD Rights sold ITV1’s James Martin’s French Adventure to Asia (BBC Lifestyle), Australia (Foxtel), New Zealand (Choice TV), Poland (ITI Neovision-TV Kuchnia) as well as Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova (AMC Networks International-Central and Northern Europe).
Nickelodeon is launching streaming app Nick Jr. Play internationally, starting with the UK and Denmark. The app has scored more than 16 million downloads in the U.S.